Published: 04 January 2024

Surrey receives Green Apple Environment Award

Surrey’s Horticulture Team has been invited to accept Green World Ambassador status and have its winning paper published in The Green Book after winning an International Green Apple Environment Award for its circular and close-loop recycling process at the University. 

The Green Apple Environment Awards are run by The Green Organisation - an international, independent, non-profit, non-political environment group that began in 1994 to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world. 

Landscaping waste across the University estate is collected and heaped, shredded and sieved to produce a fine compost which is used to mulch tree bases and shrub beds across the 120 hectares of the University’s campuses. Mulch protects soil from extreme temperature changes and provides plants and wildlife with the nutrients they need to thrive.  

The project was the brainchild of the EFCS Grounds department. Sports and Landscape Manager, Iain Main received the award on behalf of the University at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 20 November. 

“The project was started just over 25 years ago,” explains Iain. “Composting has been a part of horticultural thinking for a large number of years. When the Horticultural Grounds depot moved to Manor Park over 25 years ago, this allows us to have the storage capacity and maintenance facility to do the composting operation. 

“The idea for the closed-loop recycling process came about as we looked for more sustainable ways to manage the landscape across the University estate. Since we started in 1998, we have produced 88m3 of mulch per year which will help create more green spaces and protection for flower, fauna and wildlife and improve biodiversity on campus.” 

The judges were impressed with Surrey’s project, titled, ‘Circular Implementation of Landscaping Waste for Habitat, Biodiversity, and Environmental Improvement on a University Campus’. 

Iain said: “Habitat creation and sustainability are having an impact on our campus in many ways, including fostering hedgehog habitats, conserving water, and enhancing the University's environmental impact ranking.” 

Find out how the University of Surrey is protecting biodiversity onsite

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